LINCOLN, R.I. – Freshmen Ryan Escoda (Newtown) and John Walker (Westerly, RI) ran 1-2 in a field of 64 runners over 8,000 meters to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University men's cross country team to a 21-point win among eight teams at the Community College of Rhode Island Tri-State Invitational Saturday morning.
Senior Samantha McKosky (Deep River) gave Eastern the individual winner in both races as she led a field of 61 female runners over 5,000 meters to pace Eastern to third place among six teams.
With sophomore Brian Balkus (Ashford) giving the Eastern men three of the top ten finishers, the Warriors compiled only 43 points to outrun runner-up Salve Regina University (64). It was a three-team race, as Bridgewater State University (71) finished a solid third.
In all, the Eastern men pushed all five of their scoring runners within the top 20 on a slow, muddy course, with freshman Jorich Swift (Mansfield) 16th overall with 14 scoring points and Ryan Adams (Manchester) – the club's only senior – taking 18th overall with 16 scoring points. Escoda was timed in 28.42 (5:46 pace), Walker 29:31 (5:56), Balkus 31:18 (6:27), Swift 31:55 (6:25) and Adams 32:13 (6:28).
McKosky won by 1:23 over runnerup Victoria Barlow of Johnson & Wales, clocking 20:04 (6:27 pace) to Barlow's 21:27. Salve Regina (29 points) won the women's event, with Johnson & Wales second (47). Eastern had 60 points for a landslide win over fourth-place Framingham State University (118 points).
Running as a pack, senior Christina Gosselin (Old Saybook), junior Rachel Osak (Portland) and sophomore Sylvia Lawrence (Woodstock) crossed the finish line virtually in tandem at 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively. First-year junior Maggie Dulak (Northford) was right behind at 19th with 17 scoring points.
Gosselin was timed in 22:52 (7:21.8), Osak 22:54 (7:22.3), Lawrence 22:55 (7:22.6) and Dulak 22:58 (7:23.7).
Eastern competes in the Western New England University Invitational Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m.